State health officials reported 2,590 COVID-19 diagnoses and 209 deaths in Florida Wednesday, a recent high water mark in fatalities tied to the novel coronavirus
Overall, 690,499 people, including 682,370 Floridians, have tested positive. The 209 resident deaths push the state’s toll to 13,618 confirmed fatalities among residents and an additional 164 non-resident deaths.
The new cases cover results returned between Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning. For all-day Tuesday, DOH received 2,622 positive cases with a median age of 39, up from a recent low of 35 as schools and universities reopen.
The fastest-growing age cohort for the virus is Floridians aged 15 to 24. Of those positive cases from Tuesday, 541 — or 21% — of all positives came from that age group. Throughout August, 14% of cases were aged 15 to 24.
Cases among those 25 to 34 are also increasing more quickly than in recent reports, with 434 in that cohort making up 17% of all new positives.
Gov. Ron DeSantis began underscoring emergency department visits over testing positivity rates in early August after raising questions about the reliability of complete and timely reporting from private laboratories.
Both hospital visits for illnesses related to influenza and COVID-19 have declined each week since July 5. Apart from an increase in influenza-like illnesses the week of Sept. 6, both metrics have declined for ten consecutive weeks.
Instances of illnesses like COVID-19 dropped to a new recent weekly low of 3,835 last week. The Department of Health reported 2,126 fewer flu-like illnesses, slightly lower than the prior week but still more instances the department has seen since the week of Aug. 9.
An increase in flu-like illnesses are typical during this part of the year, DOH spokesman Alberto Moscoso assured.
“We are below the numbers that we see typically at this time of year,” he said in a statement. “We typically see an ILI (influenza-like illness) increase this year. Normally, this yearly increase is attributable to cold viruses that circulate at the start of the school year. These visits will be captured by the ILI syndrome, even though most are not influenza.”
Overall, 42,941 Floridians have been hospitalized, an increase of 170 since Tuesday’s report. But the Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 2,254 people are currently hospitalized.
After the percent positivity rate fell below 5% for 10 consecutive days, both Monday and Tuesday saw rates above 5% again, coming in at 5.3% Tuesday. Some experts say the positivity rate should be below 5% for two weeks before reopening services like schools.
In total, 5.1 million Floridians have been tested for COVID-19, as have 20,769 non-residents in the state. DOH received results for 54,483 individuals Tuesday.
Editor’s note on methodology: The Florida Department of Health releases new data every morning around 10:45 a.m. The total number reported in those daily reports include the previous day’s totals as well as the most up-to-date data as of about 9:30 a.m.
Florida Politics uses the report-over-report increase to document the number of new cases each day because it represents the most up-to-date data available. Some of the more specific data, including positivity rates and demographics, consider a different data set that includes only cases reported the previous day.
This is important to note because the DOH report lists different daily totals than our methodology to show day-over-day trends. Their numbers do not include nonresidents who tested positive in the state and they only include single-day data; therefore, some data in the DOH report may appear lower than what we report.
Our methodology was established based on careful consideration among our editorial staff to capture both the most recent and accurate trends.